Editorial: Fighting City Hall? Yes you can

Jan. 31, 2014 @ 10:52 PM

Public hearings remain a best bet for the community citizenry.

We’ve watched several over the last couple of months, mostly had government meetings that are not high profile. And yet, they are very much within the fabric of a community in all they do.

What we’ve seen is groups of citizens able to go and express concern for their community, and to see the responding board grant their wishes. It doesn’t always happen that way, but citizen involvement even at a board meeting in the middle of the day in the workweek can be influential.

It does then become surprising more powerful boards, such as commissioners for counties and councils for cities, don’t see as much traffic at their public hearings. Or during public comment periods.

From the view in our corner, that’s a missed opportunity.

• We’re not sure when Xavier Wortham sleeps, sees family or does the nuts and bolts of his job. We’re confident he does. After all, he does a lot.

Wortham is the latest recipient of the John Penn Award, emblematic of Granville County’s citizen of the year.

When his accomplishment list was read at this past week’s banquet, it took a while. In fact, he came up after part one, then stood for another list. The Oxford Housing Authority director is making a tremendous impact on his community.

We’re sure he could have won this award in any other number of years. Deserving candidates usually fall into such a category.

Congratulations, Xavier, and thanks for the impact on the community.

• Board chairman Hal Muetzel, chamber president John Barnes and the rest of the decision-makers had a tough go of it Tuesday.

Their featured event of the year, the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and awards banquet, was being held hostage by Mother Nature. As the old television commercial reminds, “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.”

They didn’t. Postponing the event was disappointing, but emotions quickly changed when the Feb. 10 date was announced along with the scheduled speaking engagement of Gov. Pat McCrory still intact.

Safety is paramount. Many other entities made wise choices this week, too, including our school systems and Vance-Granville Community College.

There’s always another day.